Twitter propels man toward dream of becoming bloomin' onion at Outback Bowl

Published December 6 2017
Updated December 6 2017

No matter what happens on the field at the Outback Bowl in Tampa, the star of the show will be the bloomin’ onion.

Not the deliciously crispy, glistening, 1,900-plus-calorie appetizer served at Outback restaurants, but the person who parades the sidelines in a surprisingly realistic bloomin’ onion costume. Bloomin’ Onion Man has been a huge hit with fans since he was introduced.

One of those fans is Ryan Nanni, who blogs at, and became infatuated with Bloomin’ Onion Man during the game in January 2017.

Before long, he didn’t just want to celebrate the onion, he needed to be the onion.

He started a social media campaign, but hadn’t attracted the steakhouse chain’s interest. 

With the clock ticking down on the January 1, 2018 approach of the Outback Bowl between Michigan and South Carolina at Raymond James Stadium, Nanni threw a social media hail Mary and tweeted at Outback with a plea.

“OK, @Outback, how many retweets is it going to take for you to let me fulfill my destiny and become Bloomin Onion Man,” Nanni wrote on Tuesday. Outback’s response: 10,000.  


It took him less than 24 hours. As of Wednesday morning, there were nearly 13,000 retweets.

According to the response from Outback’s verified Twitter account, they’re going to keep up their end of the deal. "We should’ve made that harder. Send us a DM so we can get your measurements to the onion fryer," the company wrote back on Twitter. 

A spokesperson for Outback confirmed the news, and said that Nanni will don the costume during the third quarter, while a pro mascot will maintain those duties the rest of the game.



— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) December 5, 2017